Oklahoma one of seven states to challenge birth control coverage rule

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Seven states are asking a federal judge to block an Obama administration mandate that requires birth control coverage for employees of religious-affiliated hospitals, schools and outreach programs.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court of Nebraska alleges that the new rule violates the First Amendment rights of groups that object to the use of contraceptives.

The rule, announced as part of the federal health care law, has come under fire from religious groups that object to the use of birth control. In response to the criticism, Obama administration officials have said they will shift the requirement from the employers to health insurers themselves.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning says the proposed change still fails to address their concerns.

Joining the lawsuit are Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.

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